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Brilliant Stress Management by Dr. Mike Clayton

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Introduction
King Solomon was King of Israel three thousand years ago. He
was famed for the wealth of his cities, the magnicence of his
temples and, most of all, for the wisdom of his rule. Finding it
was lonely ruling a vast kingdom, Solomon wanted some way to
change his mood whenever he chose. He called to his court the
nest craftsmen and wisest counsellors in the land.
Make me a ring and on it engrave an inscription. Put on it words
that can change my mood, whatever it is; from sorrow to joy, or from
joy to sorrow.
The counsellors wrestled with the task for many months and
sought the wisest sages throughout the world, until nally they
had the answer. They went to the craftsman who had struck
the nest ring ever made and instructed him what to engrave.
At last, they presented the ring to Solomon. On the ring was
engraved:
This too shall pass.
What Solomon’s advisors knew was this: whatever you are going
through now, this too shall pass.
Stress quiz
How stressed are you now? You might like to complete this quick
quiz to nd out. Rate each of these 20 statements on a scale of
Introduction xi
one to four, according to how often you feel this way, with: 0 for
Never, 1 for Sometimes, 2 for Often, and 3 for Always.
1 I contain all my feelings until I want to explode.
2 I want everything now – particularly in shops.
3 I get angry and frustrated at little things.
4 Criticism and negative feedback really get to me.
5 I blame myself when things go badly.
6 Work and unwanted obligations take over my life.
7 I am too busy to enjoy my lunch breaks.
8 I don’t make time to prioritise my workload.
9 The work I do is too far beyond or far below my capabilities.
10 People seem to take advantage of me.
11 I have no time for my hobbies and interests.
12 I have far too many tasks to do at work.
13 I get to work late and am late for meetings.
14 I’m in a hurry – even if there is no deadline.
15 I don’t like the changes that seem to happen.
16 I don’t say what I am really feeling.
17 I get angry with people who are important to me.
18 The bad things seem to outweigh the good things.
19 I struggle to cope under pressure.
20 Taking time to relax makes me feel guilty.
What is your total stress score? If it is less than 20, well done.
You can put this book down now, unless you are reading it for
xii Introduction
research, to help someone else, or ‘just in case’. If you scored
over 40, then shut the door, turn off your phone, and read on
now.
How Brilliant Stress Management is structured
The secret of managing stress is recognising that stress arises
when we feel a lack of control in some area of our lives. Brilliant
Stress Management will give you everything you need to start to
manage your stress, from understanding what it is, to a whole
heap of measures and tactics to help you regain control in spe-
cic stressful situations of work, change and conict. It ends
with tips on how to help others to control their stress. Here is a
summary of each of the twelve chapters.
Chapter 1: What stress is and is not
This introductory chapter tells you about what stress is and is
not. You will be able to recognise the signs of stress in yourself,
and understand the basics of the physiology of stress. You will
see why it isn’t the stress that does the damage. Managing stress
is all about regaining control.
Chapter 2: Control your physical response to stress
The rst point of control is in your physical response to stress.
This chapter looks at a remedial physical response to stress and
also a proactive physical regime that will reduce your stress
levels through: good posture, good humour, good fuel (food
and drink), good rest (sleep and relaxation) and good energy
(exercise).
Chapter 3: Control your environment
You will learn how simple approaches to controlling your envi-
ronment can have a big effect on your stress levels. We will look
at the impact of people, organisation, space, light, colour and
scent.

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